Syria death toll from rebel infighting jumps to 68

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In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Flames rise from damaged cars at the site where two car bombs exploded at a commercial street inhabited mostly by members of President Bashar Assad’s minority Alawite sect, in Homs province, central Syria, Wednesday April 9, 2014. Two car bombs exploded Wednesday in a government-held district of Syria’s battleground city of Homs, killing at least 25 people and wounding more than 100, state media said. (AP Photo/SANA)

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Flames rise from damaged cars at the site where two car bombs exploded at a commercial street inhabited mostly by members of President Bashar Assad’s minority Alawite sect, in Homs province, central Syria, Wednesday April 9, 2014. Two car bombs exploded Wednesday in a government-held district of Syria’s battleground city of Homs, killing at least 25 people and wounding more than 100, state media said. (AP Photo/SANA)

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BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say the death toll from infighting between rival Islamic rebel groups in eastern Syria has jumped to 68.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says battles are still raging on Friday, for a second day, around Bukamal town in the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province near the Iraqi border.

Rebels from the al-Qaida breakaway group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and fighters of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other Islamic groups have been fighting each other in the province for weeks over territory they previously captured together from President Bashar Assad’s forces, including oil-fields.

The Observatory said 51 fighters died in fighting around Bukamal on Thursday, when the flare-up started. The Islamic State captured the town, previously controlled by the Nusra Front.

Associated Press

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